LEE Duckworth has warned Winsford United’s players must make the most of an opportunity to climb the table during October.

Blues completed a testing run of fixtures, during which they played the Premier Division’s top two teams either side of a derby against Northwich Victoria, with a 5-2 defeat at City of Liverpool last weekend.

They have won only one of their 10 North West Counties League fixtures to date, and occupy a position just above the relegation zone.

The player-manager told the Guardian he expects to see a more ruthless streak from his side during a double-header with Charnock Richard on Saturday and then Ashton Athletic 48 hours later.

READ: Winsford v Charnock: match preview

“I’m fed up of receiving compliments after we’ve lost,” he added.

“It’s true that we’ve had a tough start that has included games against pretty much everybody in the top six.

“The truth is we’ve measured up well, which is encouraging because it’s where we aspire to be, but we haven’t turned those performances into points.”

Winsford twice led against the Purps thanks to goals from Pete Watling, his ninth of the campaign, and Sam Howell.

However they fell behind at 3-2 when Tom Peterson’s shot crept under goalkeeper Jack Cookson, who was later sent off following a collision with an opponent outside of the penalty area.

The home team added gloss by striking twice late on.

Blues were able to name only three substitutes because of absences through injury and unavailability, something Duckworth admits is a source of frustration.

He said: “There have been square pegs in round holes more often than we’d have liked.

“We’ve tried to address that by bringing in players, and we’ll continue to do that if we have to, but I expect to have more options for the weekend with guys coming back.”

Goalkeeper Michael Langley will stand in for suspended Cookson, while Lee Jones, Danny Kerr and Damian Skolorzynski - who hasn't featured since an opening-day draw with Abbey Hey - are all in contention for selection.

New recruit Dahrius Waldron, a midfielder who counts 1874 Northwich and Northwich Victoria among his former clubs, could be included too.